Portland, Oregon has a well earned reputation for being a bike friendly city. Part of what makes this reputation possible is East Portland’s abundant Greenways.
Greenways are streets running through Portland which have been designed to keep car traffic low, and to allow cyclists a safe and quick way to traverse the city. Many feature speed bumps to keep car traffic slower, fewer stop signs, and occasional median blocks (pictured below) to keep cars out. These Greenways are popular for commuters and vacationers alike.
Great for getting to work or enjoying a family bike ride in the afternoon, Greenways are a fantastic way to see many of the picturesque neighborhoods that fill out Portland whether you plan to walk, run, or bike. (Although we recommend biking in order to enjoy more sights).
Below are three of our favorite Greenways, and a few things to do along the (green)way.
Clinton Street Greenway
One of the many things you will notice while enjoying Clinton Street’s Greenway, is the identifying bicycles on the street signs. This Greenway takes you right by Portland’s popular Division Street, which offers an abundance of restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. It’s easy to cover the full length of this Greenway. We recommend starting from SE 50th and Clinton and heading towards the river. You can enjoy the beautiful homes in the area, and stop off at SE 26th and Clinton on your way. This crossing area offers a few restaurants, bars, and ice cream shop, and local stores.
Continue on and Clinton Street leads you right to the riverfront. Perhaps the best part of this Greenway is that not only do you get to end at Portland’s riverside Esplanade, but the whole ride is primarily downhill making for an easy outdoor activity.
Lincoln Street Greenway
This is a great Greenway to follow along if you are looking for a ride with lots of views. In addition, this Greenway leads you directly to Portland’s famous Hawthorne Street. You can peruse abundant vintage shops, eateries, and stop by two of Powell’s Bookstore locations near 37th and Hawthorne. If you stick to Lincoln street, we recommend starting out at 60th and Lincoln. This is at the base of Mt. Tabor, a small mountain with a quick but steep hike to the top that offers views of the city. From there you can enjoy an easy ride downhill.
Around SE 30th, Lincoln turns into Harrison. If you follow along Harrison you will ride straight into the Ladd’s Addition area. A unique neighborhood of beautiful old homes and public rose gardens. In the middle of Ladd’s addition is a greenspace where you can enjoy a picnic surrounded by hydrangeas and greenery. Following one of the diagonal streets off of Ladd’s will take you either towards Division or Hawthorne.
9th Street Greenway
This Greenway will take you from Irving Park to the Alberta Arts District. Following this street going South to North, starting at Irving Park, you will ride straight onto Alberta street. Similar to Division and Hawthorne this street offers plenty to do in terms of shopping and eating. We highly recommend exploring this area if you are looking for brunch.
If taking an evening ride, go on a Thursday and you can enjoy Cruz Control’s Thursday night comedians. If you want to do a small park tour, we recommend going from Irving Park to Alberta Park. Follow the 9th Street Greenway (heading North) past Alberta until you reach Jarrett street. You can then start heading East along the Jarrett Street Greenway until you reach Alberta Park.